OFFSHORE: It was a pretty good week for the offshore brigade with mostly light to moderate variable easterlies and a steadily diminishing swell setting the scene for some productive outings on our local reefs. Rainy at times (more so earlier in the week) and overcast in the morning but otherwise quite pleasant on the water. A short lived 15 to 20 knot+ blow kicked in early on Wednesday and interrupted the run for a couple of days but there were few complaints.
There were plenty of opportunities for those with the bigger boats to target the more distant reefs. Report and photos (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "We ran a nine hour trip to Double Island Point on Saturday. We caught coronation trout, gold band snapper, pearl perch, tusk fish, moses perch, plenty of snapper and Maori cod. Current was running steadily to the south and conditions were pretty good with 5-10 knots of northerly wind. Cheers, Nat."
And above, from Cassie Griffiths... "FOTW entry for eleven year old Zack. We went out to The Hards on Friday and Zack picked up this beautiful snapper in 90m of water. He got it on an 80gm Nomad jig baited with a squid chunk. And my entry is the cobia (inset above) caught on light gear on a soft plastic." Zack's herculean feat to get this stonker knobby up from down deep won him this week's $100.00 Davo's Tackle World/ChaseBaits Fish of the Week prize.
Back in along the middle reef belt, North Reef and Chardon's Reef were good for pearl perch, moses perch, gold spot cod, Spanish mackerel and spotted mackerel. Report and photos (above) from Trekka 2 skipper Nat Turner... "Hey Bill. We fished Chardon's and Sunshine reefs on Monday and Tuesday. The fishing has been pretty good however we’ve had to make plenty of moves once the sharks find us, which generally doesn’t take too long. Off the surface we’ve been getting spotty mackerel and cobia, slugs and floating baits have done the trick there. The reef species have been biting really well with quality pearl perch, snapper, grassy sweetlip, Moses perch and Venus tusk fish coming over the side consistently. Current run is very slight to the south. Cheers, Nat."
Closer in, Sunshine Reef ran hot and cold but when it fired it was 'Spaniard Central'. From Fraser Johnston, above... "Up at 3.30am Tuesday to get the early mackerel bite off Sunshine Reef. A 6am Spaniard was the bonus for the early start...Trolled grinner fillets and yakka baits got us three good mackerel."
And we received this report and photo (above) from Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... " Hi mate. Went out to Sunshine Reef on Monday morning just after first light with Mick Hardcastle from our Noosa store. The one target was a Spanish. I spent the previous afternoon making up some stinger rigs for big garfish. After a few hours of slow trolling my gar got smashed by this beauty at around 8kg. We also had a small black marlin whip my gar off and follow my rig in which was great to see up close. Great conditions and an easy bar crossing. Cheers, Grant."
And this from Cougar One skipper Mitch Bertacchini... "We did a five hour trip to Sunshine Reef on Sunday afternoon. Conditions were a bit sloppy with the northerly wind but the fishing made up for it. We caught some quality snapper, Moses perch, tuna, spangled emperor, painted sweetlip, tusk fish and grass emperor. The sharks have been quite bad lately they were so ravenous that day they even ate a happy moment... see inset. I’m tipping he has a sore mouth.
We also did a couple of five hour trips to Sunshine on Friday. Glorious conditions. Little wind, small easterly swell and a little amount of current to the south. We caught coral trout (as above left), Spanish mackerel, stripey snapper, tusk fish, tuna, moses perch, grass emperor and snapper."
And yak angler Adam Hempenstall (above right) christened his new fishing kayak in style when he hooked and landed this 21.5kg Spanish mackerel at Sunshine Reef on Friday morning. It went for a slow trolled whole garfish. Apart from that, there were a few Spaniards working the bait balls in Laguna Bay with the odd quality fish coming from Jew Shoal around first light (along with snapper) and Hall's Reef where grass sweetlip and cobia were also on the bite.
COASTAL: Mike Sultana, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "We've had a few reports of smaller sized jewfish (and the odd quality tailor) coming in from south of Point Arkwright between dusk and dawn while for the rock hoppers, squire and sweetlip were on the bite around Yaroomba. Further up, whiting were biting at Peregian Beach and, together with dart and flathead, at Castaways Beach and around in Alexandria Bay. On the National Park headland, Dolphin Point was the spot for grass sweetlip and tailor while across the bay, around Teewah, the catch was more flathead, whiting and dart.
ESTUARY: Adam Neilson, Davo's Tackle World Noosa... "The jacks were still in good numbers this week, especially in the lower estuary, with some good fish on the prowl in the Dog Beach/Sand Bags area. From Damien Pratt... "Hi Bill. After receiving excellent advice from Adam at Davo's and buying some gear to try out new techniques, we headed out night Jack fishing. My son Josh (pictured below) finally landed his first ever mangrove jack, going 51cm! Went for a mullet strip from Davo's. Couldn’t wipe the smile off his face! Special thanks to Adam for the great advice, well worth the visit to the store to see the guys each time we come to Noosa. Very happy customers! Cheers Pratty."
Whiting and flathead were on the bite at the river mouth and in the Frying Pan. Luka Thorp and his younger brother Leon (below left) were fishing the Sand Bags on the last of the run-in tide on Friday morning when they hooked and landed this 61cm flathead. It went for a whole pilchard bait. While John 'Cobby' Cobb (below right) got into the whiting in the Frying Pan on Monday morning with this 39cm specimen being his standout. It went for a live beach worm.
Along from there, trevally were schooling in the Woods Bays (as were tailor) and in the Current Line while the jacks were still out and about after dark around the Munna Point Bridge and along the back of Noosa Sound. Weyba Creek was still good from whiting, bream and the odd flathead. Upriver, jacks were active around the Noosa Marina and, along with trevally and threadfin salmon, between the lakes. Whiting were biting at the mouth of Lake Cootharaba."
River report from Jimmy Free, Noosa River Fishing Safaris... "Hey mate. Pretty good fishing lately. Nice to see a little bit more rain to fire everything up. The river mouth fished well for flathead and jacks. The Woods Bays were really good for big eye trevally, there’s been some very big schools early in the morning eating soft plastics and poppers. The Sallaway family (above) had a great time in the lower estuary on Monday morning's charter. Diane is pictured with a thumper 74cm flathead which she caught and released, young Jacob's lizard went 56cm and Jason's golden trevally measured 44cm. And Leigh Davies from Bendigo is pictured (below right) with a 48cm mangrove jack which boated on Sunday morning's solo charter. It got hit by a shark on the way to the boat.
There were heaps of tailor responding well to the hard bodies and some nice javelin fish around there too. Tom from Melbourne (above left) caught and released this 40cm spotted javelin in the Woods on Wednesday morning's two hour charter. Apart from that, Tewantin fished well for golden trevally on the top of the tide on dead fish baits and Lake Cooroibah also fished very well for flathead, bream and more mangrove jacks."
FRESHWATER: Grant Budd, Davo's Northshore Bait and Tackle Marcoola... "The local dams are fishing well and with Borumba dropping quickly, extreme care must be taken in the sticks. There are many trees just below the water line and many boats have been badly damaged by going too fast. Blade style lures with heavy vibration have been getting the job done lately and the Hot Bite Spectra have been doing very well. The cicadas are also in full song and although deafening at times, if you are a surface angler now is the time to break out the Tiemco Soft Shell Cicada. These have a very enticing slow crawl that bass just love to smash off the top. Lake Macdonald is spilling, making exploration onto the shallower parts a must. If you can find areas where the weed is below the surface you may find bass on top looking for a feed. Weedless frogs and small Keitech Easy Shiners on weedless hooks will get the bite without the fouling up in the weed. This makes for great fishing on lighter gear.